Mona Golabek in "The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” (Courtesy Hershey Felder Presents)
Mona Golabek in "The Pianist of Willesden Lane.” (Courtesy Hershey Felder Presents)

‘Pianist of Willesden Lane’ back for South Bay run

The one-woman show “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” starring Mona Golabek on the piano, is returning to the Bay Area this month.

Based on the 2002 book “The Children of Willesden Lane” by Golabek and Lee Cohen, the acclaimed performance piece tells the story of Golabek’s Holocaust-refugee mother, Lisa Jura, whose love of music was a lifeline throughout her wartime experiences.

Jura was a young Viennese pianist taken in by British Jews during the war. In the play, Golabek portrays Jura and performs the classical works by Bach, Edvard Grieg and Beethoven that her mother played in her time. The story traces her mother’s escape from Nazi-occupied Austria on the Kindertransport and her years at a children’s home in London.

After playing at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in 2013 and 2015, where it was one of the biggest hits in the company’s history, the production will open under the auspices of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and run from Jan. 15 through Feb. 16 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St. Opening night is Jan. 18.

Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, the musical journey combines storytelling and performances of classics to illustrate how music can bring light and hope to the darkest of times.

Tickets for the 90-minute show (with no intermission) run from $30 to $100, with preview performances Jan. 15, 16 and 17 ($25 to $55). There will be 33 performances, including eight weekend matinees and one on a Wednesday. For details, visit cbpr.co/press/pianistofwillesdenlane/ or call (650) 463-1960.

Laura Pall
Laura Paull

Laura Paull is J.'s Culture Editor, and was a longtime J. freelance writer before that.